By Bennie Mundando
TOURISM and Arts Minister Ronald Chitotela says his ministry is working towards the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Zambia and France on tourism.
The MoU aims to recognise the importance of responsible and sustainable tourism for job creation, economic development, and social progress is signed.
Speaking when the French Ambassador to Zambia Sylvain Berger paid a farewell courtesy call on him, the Minister said Government also appreciates the role played by the outgoing diplomat in promoting Zambia to French tourists.
Mr. Chitotela says the involvement of the diplomat and his passion for wildlife conservation and tourism cannot go unnoticed as he helped in pushing the Government’s agenda to revive tourism in the Northern circuit.
He says because of the ambassador’s involvement in conservation activities at Kasanka National Park, the sanctuary remains significant as a gateway to the Northern Tourism Circuit.
And Mr. Berger said the MoU is important as it reaffirms the mutual interest of close and long term cooperation in the field of tourism.
He says the document also looks at the general declaration of ecotourism and matters of gastronomy will enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries adding the 34 other agreements that have been signed in the long existing relationship.
He says said during his four-year tour of duty, he undertook 20 safari drives in the various protected area across the country, an indication of his close interaction with tourism in Zambia.
He has requested the Minister to look at the problem of encroachment that seems to be emerging in the game management area in Kasanka due an investor that has cleared up 560 hectares of land.
And Kasanka Board Chairperson Christopher Kangwa says the park remains an important icon to tourism in the Northern Circuit considering its adjacency to one of the important tourism sites, the David Livingstone Heritage Sites.
He says with the advent of COVID-19, there a rise in the number of domestic tourism bookings for local tourists wanting to experience the phenomenal bat migration.